Eccles start to a new league campaign could not have been better. A visiting team from St Benedicts, said to be depleted by nuptial ceremonies, was a nice change from a long journey into West Cumbria which the start to the previous 2 seasons had required.
Eccles started well with all the forwards making rampant runs, however a few scares had to be endured before a quick tap by Sam Higgins saw the forwards go on a long drive with much interplay and support resulting in Joe Dale going over in the corner. Sam Higgins kicked the conversion. The Eccles lead was quickly extended by a Sam Simpson try which Sam Higgins again converted.
From this point the Eccles forwards started to totally dominate proceedings and we soon saw James Radcliffe going over for two tries in quick succession, both of which Sam Higgins converted. For the first of his tries James’s mother, “She who must be obeyed” was heard to say “that’s my James”. Parental pride was later to cost her dear.
The best try of the game then followed, coming from a counter attack, following a St Benedicts penalty attempt hitting the post, the rebound was gathered by the Eccles players and almost all the team was involved in moving the ball down the field resulting in Andy Frost going over for a try.
This took the halftime score to 33 – 0.
The second half started with St Benedicts showing more resolve than the first. However Eccles kept plugging away and eventually the visitor’s resistance was finally broken when the ball was moved along the line to Matt Parkinson on the wing who handed off his winger and taking two more players out of the game slipped the ball inside to Matt Nobello who went on to score almost unopposed. Lee Robson then took over kicking duties and made the conversion. About this time Sam Higgins was replaced by Mike Lewin with Fred Oakey taking over scrum half duties.
We then had the James Radcliffe show, as he decided to demonstrate what we had all been missing during his years at university, as he ran in 4 more tries, two of which were converted by Lee Robson. This took his tally for the day to 6 tries. However it was not all James, demonstrated by the last try which came from solid defence by the Eccles players and a very good chase and harry by Andy Frost and Will Parkinson presenting the ball to James Radcliffe to go over with ease.
The final score was 64 – 0 to Eccles and a great team performance by all 15 men, or should I now say with all the inter-changes 18 men.
Due to James showing off to us all his mother had to be forth coming with 2 jugs for the lads, not the only ones to be seen that day I might add.
Later on we had Mark Greenhalgh’s 30 birthday party which was attended by all sections of the club. The entertainment whipped up by a few was painful to watch, the karaoke was popular and the clubhouse rocked all night. It looks as if Mark has set a president for the first Saturday night of seasons to come.